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Chocolate Caramel Paleo Pecan Pie Bars - These easy paleo pecan pie bars have a layer of creamy date caramel! They're a vegan friendly and gluten free, healthier dessert for the Holidays! | Foodfaithfitness.com | @FoodFaithFit
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Chocolate Paleo Pecan Pie Bars with Date Caramel

These easy chocolate paleo pecan pie bars have a layer of creamy date caramel! They're a vegan friendly and gluten free, healthier dessert for the Holidays!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 Bars

Ingredients

For the pecan topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Pecans roughly chopped (50g)
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Warm water
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tsp Coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 Cup Dark-chocolate chips

For the crust:

  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil at room temperature (should be the consistency of softened butter)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut flour sifted* (66g)
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the caramel:

  • 2 Cups lightly packed Medjool dates cut into halves (290g)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil melted
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Instructions

  • Heat your oven to 375 degrees and line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to use as a handle once the bars are cooked.
  • Place the pecans from the topping onto a small baking sheet and cook until lightly browned and toasty smelling, about 5-10 minutes. Watch them closely as they burn quickly. Once cooked, chop the pecans and reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and warm water. Place into the refrigerator to gel.
  • In a large bowl, beat the maple syrup and coconut oil together using an electric hand beater until creamy and well combined. Stir in the coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt until it forms a dough.
  • Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake until the edges darken, and the crust appears set about 9 minutes. Your crust will probably have risen and cracked a little bit when it comes out of the oven, use the pack of a small spoon to pack it down so it’s flat and crack-free. Once it's out of the oven, cool for 5 minutes.
  • While the crust cools, place the chopped dates in a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave until hot, but not burned, about 1 - 1.5 minutes.
  • Add the hot dates into a SMALL food processor (mine is 3 cups **) and use the "chop" setting until they are broken down into small pieces. Then, turn to the "puree" setting until the dates are creamy and begin to form a ball.
  • With the food processor running, stream in the coconut oil and HOT almond milk (I just microwaved it for 30 seconds or so) until the dates are broken down, sticky and smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • Once the crust has finished cooling for 5 minutes, gently spread the date caramel on top evenly, making sure to not break the crust.
  • Then, combine the the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt (for the topping) in a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and then remove from heat. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 3 minutes.
  • Once it has sat, add the chilled flax egg and mix well. Finally, stir in the chopped pecans until they are coated in the sugar mixture.
  • Pour the topping over the caramel, using a spoon to spread out and make sure the sugar mixture and pecans are evenly coating the caramel. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips
  • Bake until the edges are golden brown, the middle appears set, and begins to rise a little bit, about 18 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Then, cover the bars and refrigerate for at LEAST 4 hours to overnight.
  • Slice into bars and DEVOUR..

Notes

*PLEASE weigh your coconut flour! I have tried this crust MANY times with different brands and, for the most part, 3/4 cup of sifted coconut flour is 66g. BUT, I have found some brands that are a little denser and only require 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp to make 66g. To ensure results, weigh the sifted flour.
** I could not get the dates to be smooth enough in a large food processor, so definitely use a small one.